Hello and welcome to a DIFFerent View. Today I will be talking more about prediction skills, specifically being aware of your opponent's abilities and summoner spells. Being a step ahead of your enemies allows you have an advantage, and predicting what could potentially happen in a game will keep you safer. One of the biggest things I see is people playing as though their enemies don't have Flash, which is a spell almost everybody takes. You may see people using a retreat ping on mid lane and they don't react, then all of the sudden the enemy uses Flash and Ignite to get an easy kill, and your teammate thinks it isn't their fault because of Flash. Well with prediction skills deaths like these can be avoided.
How to Avoid Getting Caught
There is a common term called "Getting Caught" which usually refers to dying because you were caught out of position. But what is the proper position to be in? That depends on the enemy team, there is nothing wrong with farming as a squishy AD carry, but you have to know that you're safe, which depends on what the enemy could potential do to you with your knowledge of their current whereabouts. It sounds pessimistic and possibly unnecessary but in order to play safely in League of Legends you must think in a worst case scenario. However, the more knowledge you have of your enemies' cooldowns, spells, and position on the map allows that worst case scenario to not be as bad.
A common example of what I'm talking about is Ashe's ultimate, Enchanted Crystal Arrow. It's a global skill shot stun with the potential to keep someone still long enough for an entire team to show up and kill them. When playing against a team with an Ashe and you aren't sure that her ultimate is on cooldown, you must thinking "If I get hit with an arrow right now, will I die?". If the entire enemy team is missing and you're a squishy carry farming mid by yourself, the answer is likely yes, and you should consider backing off or not even being in that position in the first place. However, perhaps you are a champion like Ezreal or Kassadin with a quick blinking spell. If you really trust your ability to dodge the arrow and you are prepared for it to come towards you from various directions, then you can bait the Ashe to waste her ultimate. That's the thing about League of Legends, you will likely never see the exact same 10 champions from the last game in your current game. Even if you do, the game still won't go exactly as it did before, everything is completely situational and having greater knowledge of that situation allows you to get ahead.
What to be Thinking About
Here is a screenshot of a loading screen that was featured to spectate:
We will call the top team, Team 1, and the lower team, Team 2.
As we can see everyone in this game has Flash except for the Soraka. Meaning that if you want to play safe, you must be prepared for enemies to use Flash, especially the Blitzcrank and Taric being able to use Flash and then disable you while their team follows up. Blitzcrank can Flash and then pull you towards his team so they can get there quickly, and if Taric Flashes and stuns you his other teammates excluding Karthus all have gap closers to follow up with, along with other stuns. Team 2 also has Jarvan IV with Flash who has the potential to move 1820 units and trap somebody in his ultimate.
The other factor to keep in mind is the global presence that both teams have. Team 1 has Karthus whose ultimate can finish you off if you are staying around with full health, and Team 2 has both Soraka who can heal her teammates, and Ezreal who if he lands his skill shot can deal a decent amount of damage.
Now one of my favorite things that happened during this game started with Jax ganking Soraka mid, she used both Ghost and Heal to survive, and she was left with about 1/3 of her maximum health. After the gank she stayed somewhat safe as she didn't know where the Jax went after that gank, and Karthus was still at full health and a high amount of mana. She walked up and used Q to last hit a couple of minions still at a somewhat safe distance, but then Jax Flashed and used Q and E to stun her while Karthus also flashed and used Q to kill her. She predicted that Jax could still gank her again, but she didn't account for Karthus and Jax's Flashes even though she didn't know if they were on cooldown or not. Now that event was by no means the deciding factor of the game (Even though Team 1 did win, but mostly due to Jax predicting Jarvan IV being aggressive in lane and camping it), but it by no means was good for Team 2.
Another part that was really funny was Karthus actually was spamming laugh at his enemies in mid lane when Blitzcrank Flashed and then used Q, but Karthus had the reactions to Flash and dodge the Q. He played extremely cocky but he was prepared for what happened. Now in my opinion that may not be worth it because I think Karthus's Flash is more valuable than Blitzcrank's, but it still proved that being prepared saved him.
What to Watch For
Now there are many champions that have abilities that can catch you off guard, and players are usually pretty aware when it comes to what the enemy can do, but here are some champions that have exceptional abilities to catch people off guard:
Ahri: Lately I've been wondering what makes Ahri such a popular pick in competitive play, if you look at her base damage and scalings they are actually pretty weak, but after a while I realize one of the main reasons is her Charm, but not only her Charm, her Charm combined with her ultimate. If she only uses R once and then uses E she can catch you off guard from over 1400 units. If you are squishy enough she can even go over a wall and kill you by herself, she is definitely a champion to be aware of in a game.
Amumu: With his Q having 1,100 range and his R having a 600 unit radius he can potentially snare you from 1,700 units away, allow his team to jump on you. If you're an AD carry seeing Amumu engaging, make sure you get out of his ultimate range.
Anivia: She can wall off a complete section of the jungle from 1,000 units away and laugh as your new auto path makes you walk straight into her team. She can then follow up with a stun, slow, and high amount of damage if that wasn't bad enough. Make sure you stick close to your team so you don't end up separated.
Ashe: Pretty obvious as explained before. Just think about whether or not her ultimate could lead to your death if it hits you right now, especially considering she can follow up with a permaslow.
Blitzcrank: Getting pulled over a wall is terrible, a smart Blitzcrank will buy tons of wards and an Oracle's Elixir so just try not to be standing in places that you would ward if you were a Blitzcrank.
Fizz: His ultimate has 1275 range and he can follow up with 2 gap closers and high burst. Be sure to keep fair distance from Fog of War if you are unaware of his place on the map.
Gragas: With an E followed up with an R he can knock you 800 units towards his team from 1,700 units away. With blue buff and certain items his ultimate can potentially be on a 36 second cooldown so don't think you're always safe.
LeBlanc: A level 18 LeBlanc can dash 600 units towards you and then use QRE to deal 1072 (+3.16) damage to you. The use of Deathfire Grasp before this combo could certainly kill you in about 2.5 seconds. Be aware of her items and consider investing in magic resist if she's fed.
Malphite: His ultimate has 1,000 range, and if you're an AD carry you are likely his target. However his ultimate only has a radius of 325 units, which is shorter than Flash and almost all dashing/blinking abilities, so if you can react quick enough you can dodge his ultimate.
Morgana: Her Q has 1300 range, this is pretty much the highest range non global ability to catch someone off guard with. It also lasts for 3 seconds, which is rather absurd in my opinion. A smart Morgana will use Fog of War to make the projectile animation invisible or at least harder to see coming. I also highly suggest purchasing Mercury Treads against her in general.
Nautlius: Ummm... yea. He can either Q you from 950 range or R you from 850 range, either way, expect to be standing still for the next 5 seconds.
Nocturne: "Noc Noc" "Who's There?" "DARKNESS!" He will likely jump on the AD carry and attempt to fear him while taking away their health bar. Meanwhile his teammates can't even see what's going on. The solution to this is to stay close to your carry if you have the ability to disable Nocturne, or if you are the carry to stand close to people that can protect you.
Twisted Fate: If you don't know where he is, imagine him as a Karthus with a double damage ultimate. TF players constantly are looking for gank opportunities in the laning phase and low health enemies during late game, make sure you don't give him free kills. Also when laning against him remember that his stun is about the lowest cooldown in the game at a 6 second base, he can easily stun you twice if his jungler comes to gank.
Urgot: His ultimate is one of the few abilities that increases the range with ranks in it. With 850 range at rank 3 and an instant suppression, his primary goal late game is to find a carry and bring him to his team while his heat seeking crab robot missiles hunt you down and kill you.
Warwick: He is less frightening than a lot of the champion's on this list. Just try to be near someone with a disable if he's on the enemy team and you're worried that he can kill you.
These are in my opinion champion's that you must be very cautious of during a game, remember that wards allow you to know your enemies positions and play more aggressively. The worst case scenario becomes a lot less bad when you have more knowledge of what could actually happen.
There are also certain summoner spells people seem to just forget exist. As I said most common seems to be Flash which is ridiculous because almost everybody takes Flash. If you're in the laning phase and you're enemy can use Flash to kill you they probably will do so.
Other common summoner spells that people forget about are Heal and Exhaust. When Heal was buffed a while ago it was extra powerful because people weren't used to playing against it. I actually think Riot over-nerfed Heal because people were getting baited by it too much. Exhaust is just another one you must be aware of especially when you're diving somebody. The decreased damage output along with the slow can easily turn around a scenario.
It's hard to always be one step ahead, but it will certainly pay off. It can save your life or in some scenario's (dodging skill shots mostly) it can cause your opponents to waste resources. Remember if you used a summoner spell at the same time your enemy used the same one, you can use your timer to know when their spell is also off cooldown. This can have some variation with certain masteries, but can be pretty accurate. Also the Ignite mastery that gives 5 AD and 5 AP can be a dead giveaway of whether it's on cooldown or not. I hope this helps you in your future games and thanks for reading!